My Baby's Mommas
“Don’t you think she will have a better life with you?”
This question has been asked to me in various ways through the years. My answer is always the same.
Because life isn’t that simple. Motherhood isn’t that simple.
My daughter has two mommas, and we are both her mommas. I make the day to day, minute by minute choices that will shape her trajectory in life, but I do not share her family history, her ancestry, the smells and sounds of her first momma.
The day she came to our family, she was filled with uncertainty, bottled up and shown as best as an infant can show it. She was colicky and didn’t sleep. She had awful digestion issues. She cried at the drop of a hat. All.The.Time… Did she need to come to us? Yes. She was safe and taken care of in a way that her other momma wasn’t able to do at that time. My mothering of her began that day but her biological momma’s mothering did not end that day.
To be the best mother I could be for her, even when I did not know how our story would end, I decided to do everything I could to support her relationship with both of her parents and her families. Was it…is it…easy? Not always. It isn’t always convenient or comfortable, but it is what is best for our family. A family where 3 of my daughters have 1 momma, and 1 of my daughters has 2 mommas. And that is just how it is.
Motherhood doesn’t always begin at birth, and it doesn’t always end if a child is adopted. Whether we are both in her life or not, my daughter’s mother will always love her, want the best for her, and have dreams for her future. They won’t likely be the same as mine, but that doesn’t make them worth less.
Love looks different. Families look different. Motherhood looks different. Having a baby doesn’t automatically make you prepared to mother. My daughter’s mother did everything she could for 4 months. She made decisions many of us make. She was just like me as a new mom, struggling to learn how to parent as best as she could. Did she want it to end up this way? I am absolutely positive the answer is no.
My daughter has two mothers because we failed her as a society before she was even born. Though it is a story that is not mine to tell, in a tiny nutshell, society forced this innocent baby to experience being taken from the only love that she had known. She opened her eyes that day, and everything and everyone looked different, smelled different, tasted different, sounded different. Her senses were all that she had- no words, just feelings. Her whole life ripped apart before being able to roll over or say her first word.
Imagine what that must feel like.
It was not just her life ripped apart that day, but the life of her entire birth family, including her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…and the lives of her new family. I know that day changed the trajectory for both of her mommas, not just our daughter. Because of our shared story, I will always do whatever I can to support their relationship. The best thing for our daughter is her whole family, though now that has been redefined forever. Loving her means loving all of what makes her whole. And yes, there are boundaries, and we are all in agreement that her safety is the top priority in whatever becomes of this new family.
Regardless of what may happen in the future, what her whole family may look like, our daughter will see both her mommas in the pictures on her adoption day, and my dream is that we can continue to give her so much more than that.
Kelly Metras is 2021 Listen To Your Mother, Rochester alumna, owner of Salena's Mexican Restaurant in the Village Gate, and mother to four girls. She is also the co-founder and co-chair of BOSSY, a networking and support resource for women business owners in the Rochester area. She gets $&*^ done.